What are the secrets to creating happy and healthy relationships?
While on the outside it looks like some couples have the secrets to a happy relationship, the truth is they just found better ways of dealing with the problems that cross their path compared to the ones who seem to fight all the time. Of course, it takes a lot of knowledge, patience
Getting to know each other’s needs
Getting to know each other’s needs and respecting those needs is fundamental in a relationship. Each one of us has a love language in regard to what actions make them feel really loved. Some people are more sensitive to gifts and actions, some to physical touch, others to time spent together while some respond to encouraging words. There might be some who value when their independence in the relationship is respected, or when they are genuinely understood. Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, a book that outlines five ways to express and experience
Many people are used to showing love the way they love receiving it, which can make them feel like they are never doing enough to please their partner. By learning your partner’s primary need and showing your love the way they want to receive it, you help them understand they are not only
Repairing what needs to be fixed
People in successful relationship focus on solving the conflict in a wise yet timely
It’s important to know there are a lot of unsolvable problems in relationships. Actually, according to Marriage and Family counselor Dr. John Gottman, 69% of marriage conflicts are never solved. Yep!
So how do happy couples fight? They just find healthy ways in reducing these conflicts as much as possible. If the goal is to be happy and peaceful together, it’s important to choose your battles wisely and know which ones to let go. For the conflicts that can be solved, however, compromise is the key.
Having the shared goal of creating a happy relationship where both partners feel equally important takes two. Unfortunately, this is the one key you cannot apply by yourself. It takes two to tango, and to create a happy relationship as well. Highly functioning couples take turns in reminding each other the promises they made and work together in putting the other first. This unselfish way of treating a relationship creates a place for everyone’s needs to be taken care of: If I am putting you first, and you are putting me first, then we know everyone’s needs are taken care of, leaving no space for selfishness.
We all know communication is key in relationships, but what if we don’t know how to communicate?
Of course, not everyone might know how to communicate wisely and be comfortable sharing their feelings, especially to their loved one. Fear of conflict, judgment and being misunderstood might stop people from sharing their dissatisfactions towards their partners. By creating a safe space where both partners know they are listened to and where their feeling
What’s important to know here is that miscommunication starts when instead of trying to solve the problems, partners come off as attacking. An effective communicator knows how to separate the person from the issue (or behavior), and be soft on the person and firm on the issue. An ineffective communicator will do the opposite – he or she will literally “get personal” by attacking the
Learning about both yours and your partner’s attachment style
For those who are not familiar, I wrote here about attachment style and how to relate to them. An attachment pattern is
Fight better, not less
Conflicts can never be avoided, so we know that they will arise even in the happiest relationships. This is why the focus shifts from fighting less, to fighting better. Fighting better is about having discussions, not arguments. It is about trying to hear your partner’s needs and discussing
However, there will be days when you’ll not fight as smart as you want to, and that’s okay. Maybe you’ll sometimes go to sleep angry, and that will feel wrong. Accepting there can be tough times in a relationship when you might not agree on anything and knowing you’ll eventually come back to each other after the storm passes is one big lesson long-term couples learn on their journey together. No one can do these perfectly all the time, and most relationships have issues in some dimensions.